Saturday, 29 September 2012

L H COSWAY - An Interview On Her Writing AND Upcoming Novel!!

If you haven't heard about the YA series that has me fangirling this September, then you'd better listen up!

L.H Cosway's Florence Vaine series is the perfect pick if you're looking for a book that will keep you enthralled and hooked until the last page. 

The first book in the series - A Strange Fire - presented us with Cosway's heroine - a shy, slightly introverted teenager by the name of Florence (of Flo, as she prefers to be called). Flo is down to earth and troubled as any human being would be in her situation. Not only has she had to deal with having to bear the brunt of her father's verbal and physical abuse for most of her childhood, but Flo has a dangerous secret. She can see people's auras, and can even alter them. The book thrilled readers...the ending leaving us wanting more. (To read my review on A Strange Fire click HERE )

And this September, the second book in the series - A Vision of Green - is due to be released!! To celebrate, below is an interview with the talented author herself - telling us about her inspiration, the writing process and a few tidbits on the sequel!


   1.)  Flo has the most amazing ability - to see 'colours' around people, or their auras. Where did this idea come from?

Out of all the psychic talents a person could have, I've always been the most fascinated by the idea of an Empath. It's a very distinct visual to imagine someone being able to see colours, both beautiful and ugly, surrounding another person's body. I imagined a girl who was continually preoccupied with staring at colours only she could see, and not knowing whether she was really seeing them or if she was simply imagining it all. For Flo I think it was important to give her something that would prevent her from allowing her father's abuse to turn her into a bad person. A lot of people who suffer like that will tend to become cruel and abusive themselves. I very much believe in the saying, when fighting monsters, be careful not to become one and Flo's ability allows her to keep her sense of right and wrong because she can see the truth beneath the surface of people.

2.)  Who's your favourite - Ross, Alex, Benji, Kevin or Frank?!

Frank and Alex are definitely my top two, the others are much more secondary characters and don't play as big a role in the storyline. Obviously Frank is my favourite, he's got that whole “bad boy with a heart of gold” thing going on. I love Alex too though, because he's cheeky and tends to enjoy making smart comments about people, which is always fun to write!

3.)  What made you choose to give Flo a stammer?

Flo is the most socially phobic character I have ever created, she's shy to the core and anxious a lot of the time. I gave her a stammer to show how her anxiety affects her in social situations, and also to show how her upbringing has caused her to be afraid of new people because she's only ever been treated badly. In some ways she feels like people won't be interested in what she has to say, and she becomes so nervous when she tries to speak that it just gets all jumbled up. In book two you'll see her tackle her stammer head on, and she might just learn to overcome it;)

4.)  Flo's relationship with her dad is complex. Do you think that she loves him, or hates him?

I think she loves him and hates him, or maybe she just wishes she could love him because kids are supposed to be able to love their parents. The problem is that her dad is so completely horrid and unlovable. Up until she goes to live in Chesterport she's never known anything other than her father being cruel to her, so in a way she can't tell the difference. She definitely has an irrational sense of loyalty to him that he doesn't deserve. As an Empath she feels the need to heal him emotionally, although it remains to be seen whether he will ever be in the position to become a better person.

5.)  The first book ended with "I am not a victim. I am not timid. I am not a prisoner. My father's hate no longer matters. And I deserve to live." Do you think that this version of Flo was always within her, or did her experience throughout the novel help make her into this better version of herself - and what version of Flo can we expect in the next book?

She definitely always had the potential to be this version of herself, but her experiences in life shaped her for the worse. I think it was the things that happened to her since moving in with her Gran that enabled her to see the person she was meant to be, and at the end of book one she's taking a step towards becoming that person. It won't be easy though. In book two Flo is definitely more confident, but she finds herself quickly falling back under her dad's authority at the same time. She discovers that saying she's not a victim is a lot easier than actually not being one in real life. She has to struggle to really break the hold her dad has over her psychologically. It's definitely going to be hard for her, but she'll pull through in the end.

6.)  Was it harder writing the second book?

Oh it was definitely harder, because when I wrote A Strange Fire I was only twenty-two so I could still understand how a teenager thinks fairly well. Now that I'm a little older my point of view is different, so I had to make a conscious effort to get back inside Flo's head and figure out what makes her tick.

7.) What can we expect in the next book?

In A Vision of Green readers will encounter some new supernatural beings and there is a big emphasis on the town forest, where strange things start happening. Flo's relationship with Frank deepens and evolves and there's also more emphasis on her friendship with Caroline, whose crush on Alex continues (but this time he might actually like her back!) Flo also makes some discoveries about where her Empath gene comes from and her powers continue to grow and surprise her. She meets new characters too, some good and some not so good. 

**I would like to thank L.H Cosway for the chance to read her wonderful books and for giving this blog such an outstanding interview! I am just about to start A Vision of Green and I. Can't. WAIT!!**

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Curiouser and Curiouser!!

A.G. Howard

Rating: 5+ 
**Bookworm BURTON CHOICE** 

“I've been collecting bugs since I was ten; it's the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.”

Be prepared for a hat-raising trip down the rabbit hole in Splintered - be sure to hold onto your teacups!

Alyssa Gardner has always had an eerie fascination with insects, using them to create artworks whose images reflect the remnants of dreams she can only just recall. But her main reason for her use of medium lies in the fact Alyssa can hear the chattering of bugs and flowers, and despite the entertaining aspect of listening to their conversations, Alyssa wishes she could rid her head of them - secretly fearing that she'll end up in a loony asylum like her mother, who drinks ice-cream from teacups and insists that they're descendants of Alice Liddell.

Alyssa uncovers the source of her mother's madness and comes to the shocking realisation that the world her mother glimpses is all far too real and closer than either of them suspects. When faced with ultimatum, Alyssa ventures into Wonderland with her handsome best friend Jeb to break the family curse and hopefully rid their lives of the unsettling place forever.

But Wonderland is no longer full of Disney-goodness and never-ending tea parties. Grotesque, peculiar and as mad as a hatter, Wonderland and its occupants are a fruit salad of personalities, each with their own agenda - and none more so than the seductive and debonair Morpheus, who Alyssa cannot help but feel a connection with, despite the danger he represents. 

Becoming acquainted with the White Rabid, Hattington, the Ivory Queen and Chessie, Alyssa feels herself slowly losing her grip on her world and falling deeper and deeper into the clutches of Wonderland with every passing second...though she still has the tickling sense that there is something bigger at work than simply curse-breaking and that those that she meets are all apart of an elaborate masquerade - who can she trust?

With enough eccentric, tantalising and twisted imagery to have to dancing on tabletops,Splintered is sure to have you wishing for your mallet and a top hat - the lure of Wonderland far too strong, and bittersweet, to resist.

A Wilde Time: Darker Still (Magic Most Foul #1)

Darker Still
Leanna Renee Hieber

Rating: 5

Lives should never be down to mere words, but I suppose they always are. Whether declarations of war, law, or treaty... words ever determine lives.”

It is generally thought that all men like their women silent.

So it should not be to difficult for a mute young woman such as Natalie Stewart to fit straight into New York City's frivolous society. But Natalie longs for more than to catch a man and embroider. She longs for a life like those she's read of in novels; full of adventure, mystery and love. Little did she know what Fate had in store for her.

Overcoming the hurdles of being mute with admirable courage and ingenuity, Natalie meets Mrs Northe and is shown Mrs Northe's prize possession - a portrait of an Englishman, the young Lord Denbury whose story is woven with mystery and magic. No one knows of what happened to the youth...all that remains is his startling realistic portrait. Natalie's father, employed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, agrees to purchase it and Natalie is secretly thrilled - completely drawn to the painting and its beautiful subject.

Until it begins to alter...almost beckoning her, calling to her to help the young man. 

One touch - one press of her fingertips to the exquisite canvas - and Miss Stewart, like Alice, tumbles through and lands in the arms of a very tangible, and very handsome, Lord Denbury. 

The young man's story of grief, magic and demons draws Miss Stewart to him and she promises to aid him in escaping his magic prison. But dark forces are at work, and an enemy appears - but Denbury's doppelgänger may be more than he appears, and capable of hurting not only Denbury himself, but Natalie. Is she willing to sacrifice to much for the handsome youth she barely knows - as well as for the victims of the doppelgänger, who seems to be on a vicious quest to rid the world of light and love?

A masterpiece that has highlights of the dark and thrilling 'Picture of Dorian Gray', this book is sure to have you giving paintings second-glances...looking for that spark of life in the portrait's eye.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Happy 17th Birthday to Me!!

Indeed - today is the day that yours truly came into the world and from then onwards it was a sure, steady path towards bookwormdom and the never-ending consumption of literature! I think it is fair to say that some of the best moment in those 17 years have been the ones where I've had a book in my hand - and that I wouldn't be the wonderful, book-crazed girl I am today if it weren't for books!

So enjoy your day, read a book (a good one!) and I promise to consume a slice of vanilla cheesecake for each of you!!


Friday, 7 September 2012

A Dose of Angel Goodness ~ Guardian by Heather Burch

Guardian (Halflings, #2)Guardian (Halflings #2):
By Heather Burch

Rating: 4.2

You found me tonight. Follow your heart, Nikki. No matter where it roams, it'll always lead you back to me, because my heart is always calling to yours.

You may choose not to listen for a while, but eventually you'll go where it's leading you.”

A tale of angelic intervention, inner strength and the ability to have faith even when your path is at its most bumpy and dark. 
And how one person's light can shine bright enough to bring out the light in others.

My thoughts on the book:

The next book in the Halflings series packs a punch, that's for sure!!

At the end of the last book we were all like:

Because OMG there's a love triangle!

Noble as ever, our heroine - Nikki - decides to stay strong and not lead on either guy, her personal motto being:

But then Mace is all like:

And Raven pretends he doesn't care, but every time he sees Mace and Nikki together he's all:

But Nikki's cool - it's not like everytime she sees either of them that she does a slow-motion turn or anything...

Or that she gets herself into life-threatening situations so she can get rescued at the last second...

Or that every time she and Mace lock gazes you can just hear this song playing in the background:

Not to mention Raven and his Hot 'N' Cold act. He's all "Why doesn't she love me like she loves Mace?" "Why doesn't she get that I care?!"

And after numerous make out sessions, heart-stopping revelations and plenty of intense gaze holding...we finally find out the big reason why everyone wants Nikki. And I was all like:

The real question isn't why everyone wants Nikki. The real question is: why on earth is she constantly surrounded by guys that look like male swimsuit models?

I liked this book. Don't get me wrong! 
But I couldn't stand Nikki for half of it (or more than half, come to think of it).

Mainly, because she's with love. 

She acts like "Hey, guys fall over themselves for me everyday and I should just throw their love away in a self-sacrificing manner again and again and again." 

Umm. No.

Why Mace and Raven put up with her I don't know. Because in real life, if you push a guy away again and again and again...he will leave. He'll get the hint! But I guess Mace and Raven are blessed with angelic patience! 

And as for the cliffhanger...
I mean, really? Another one?

And just when I wanted it to be a nice, happy ending? Why?!

*collapses on top of computer and sobs* No words can describe the pain! So I'll use gifs instead:

Why must cliffhangers exist?

Now the love triangle will still be there and nothing is over!

I shall now slink off to my bed - and not dream of angel boys, juice boxes, ships, shipping, motorbikes or dolphins...

Never Again: Nevermore

James Patterson

Rating: 2 (And I'm being nice!!)

Where to start, where to start? Let's start with Fang going all goo-goo eyed over Max's clone, Maya:

Then Max thinking "squirrel thoughts" about Dylan:

Maya dying and Fang thinking "shit she died, well I better go rejoin my old flock and suck up to Max":

Fang being all like "Max, I love you - this is about you and me":

Dylan being all:

This book isn't even about saving the world! Heck - it's a love triangle/teen drama with a dash of sci fi!! Who CARES about Fang's regrets?! Who CARES about Dylan's love issues?! Who CARES if Max can't pick between the two guys!

Because, dear readers, there are more than TWO GUYS ON THE WHOLE FREAKING PLANET!! When will the heroine just wake up and see "Hang on a sec. These guys are both stupid and I should find someone else!"

So the plot was all kind of:

- Max's POV: Whine about Fang and make Bambi eyes at Dylan
- Fang's POV: Feel all tingly when talking to Maya, but feel guilty about it 'cause of Max
- Dylan's POV: Max Max Max Max Max Max Max Max Max...
- Angel's POV: AHHHHHHHH!!! Someone HELP ME! Ooh, I can see the present as well as the future!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!
- HALT. Actual plot occurs. There is a 99% plan going on. Evil scientist stuff...AGAIN.
- Max's Pov: (see previous)
- Fang's POV: Maya dead so now speaks 'gruffly' and makes 'intense gaze' stuff at Max
- Dylan's POV: (see previous) + Shit I hate Fang why can't he go die in a hole?!
- Mention plot briefly
- Max's POV: (see both previous mentions)
- Fang's POV: ...
- Dylan's POV: ...
- Angel's POV: AHHHHHHH- oh, forget it!

And so on.

And at ANY POINT did it mention that Max had grey hair?



Also...what is Nevermore? The book didn't even MENTION the WORD!!


This book had pained me. Greatly. I will now have to find a GOOD book and recover from this harrowing experience!
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